“John, you’re so talented, but too bad you’re Latin — otherwise you’d be so much further along.”
In a recent essay written for the New York Times, John Leguizamo fires shots at the apathy — from politicians to those in Hollywood — that leads them to overlook Latinos in the U.S. The veteran actor-comedian begins by revealing he’s often told he would have been a bigger star if he wasn’t Latino. Leguizamo says the lack of respect for Latinos didn’t begin with Trump. “We have grown up amid an entrenched disrespect for Latin culture, and we have often internalized that disrespect,” writes Leguizamo. He believes Donald Trump is only parroting what the media has been telling us for years. “Without media representation expanding to include more Latin faces and voices, we are vulnerable to a demagogue like Mr. Trump claiming that we are all ‘drug dealers,’ ‘rapists’ and ‘criminals.'”
“We need a Latino Spring in this country.”
John Leguizamo understands prejudice, and he doesn’t hold back when fighting against it. In just a few hundred words, he eloquently enumerates many of the contributions Latinos have made to this country, and he anguishes over the outright lack of respect that many of us still face on a daily basis. When he finally calls for a Latino Spring, he’s speaking from a place of anger and also hope. Closing out his piece, The Guiz doubles down on his stance: “Latinos need to demand our place in American history, and in corporate, political and social fields. We must demand an equal share of the American dream, and not accept a downgraded version of it.”
Credit: felineastronaut/Twiiter; theguyinthechair18/Instagram; Star Wars/Twitter
Recently, news broke that beloved Mexican-American director Robert Rodriguez is set to executive producer Disney+’s new Star Wars series, The Book of Boba Fett. This news broke at the same event that Disney announced that Rosario Dawson will be getting her own Star Wars series on Disney+, a Mandalorian spinoff entitled Ahsoka.
Pair these events with Pedro Pascal headlining The Mandalorian, and it appears that Disney is making some real and concerted effort to hire Latino talent.
And the pattern didn’t just start this year. Since the franchise’s reboot in 2015, Disney has consistently hired Latinos to take part in Star Wars Universe in front of and behind the camera.
In light of this, we’ve compiled a definitive list of all of the Latinos that have been involved in the Star Wars Universe. Take a look below!
1. Oscar Isaac as Poe Dameron
Guatemalan-American actor Oscar Isaac was one of the first Latinos to set off Disney’s streak of hiring Latino talent for the Star Wars franchise. Isaac (nee Óscar Isaac Hernández Estrada) played Poe Dameron, a fighter pilot who rose in the ranks to become General of the Resistance. He appeared in all three movies of the Star Wars reboot trilogy: The Force Awakens, The Last Jedi, and The Rise of Skywalker.
2. Pedro Pascal as Mando
Chilean-American actor Pedro Pascal plays the titular character in The Mandalorian (his true name is a spoiler), a solitary bounty hunter who travels to the “outer reaches” of the galaxy in order to protect Baby Yoda.
3. Rosario Dawson as Ahsoka Tano
This season, Rosario Dawson played Ahsoka Tano in The Mandolorian–an alien of the Togruta race who is also a Jedi knight and army commander. It was also recently announced that the actress of Cuban and Puerto Rican descent would be headlining a spinoff series on Disney+ entitled Ahsoka.
4. Diego Luna as Cassian Andor
Mexican actor Diego Luna played Rebel Alliance soldier Cassian Andor in 2016’s Rogue One: A Star Wars Story. Luna will also star in his own standalone series revolving around Cassian Andor on Disney+ called Andor.
5. Lupita Nyong’o as Maz Kanata
Mexican-born actress Lupita Nyong’o played alien pirate queen Maz Kanata via motion capture in all three of the Star Wars reboot trilogy: The Force Awakens, The Last Jedi, and The Rise of Skywalker.
6. Benicio Del Toro as DJ
Boricua actor Benicio Del Toro played the villainous hacker DJ in The Last Jedi.
7. Jimmy Smits as Senator Bail Organa
Brooklyn-born Boricua actor Jimmy Smits played Bail Organa in two of the Star Wars prequel movies, Attack of the Clones and Revenge of the Sith as well as reprising his role in Rogue One: A Star Wars Story.
8. Horatio Sanz as Mythrol
Although you might not recognize him through such heavy character makeup, Chilean-America comedian Horatio Sanz played Mythrol, a wanted fugitive that was carbon-frozen by Pascal’s character in the first episode of The Mandolorian.
9. John Leguizamo as Gor Koresh
Again, you’d be hard-pressed to recognize John Leguizamo amidst all the heavy alien makeup, but the Colombian-American actor played the character Gor Koresh in The Mandolorian–boastful forager of the Abyssin alien race.
10. Robert Rodriguez
As we reported above, Robert Rodriguez is a legendary Mexican-American director who helmed a popular episode of The Mandolorian entitled “The Tragedy”. He is now set to executive produce a new Disney+ Star Wars series called The Book of Boba Fett.
11. Adria Arjona
Puerto Rican actress Adria Arjona has not officially appeared in any Star Wars properties yet, but it was recently announced that she will be appearing in Diego Luna’s Star Wars spinoff series Andor as a yet-to-be-named character.
12. Pablo Hidalgo
Pablo Hidalgo is the definition of behind-the-scenes talent. The Chilean-Canadian LucasFilm creative executive is in charge of keeping narrative and creative cohesion between all of the stories within the Star Wars Universe. In essence, he is the definitive Star Wars expert.
Christmas is here and it is time to get super festive, y’all. One of the best ways to get into the holiday spirit is by watching the movies that will take you to that place. Here are some Latino Christmas movies that will get you feeling all Christmas-y.
WWE brings you this love story that follows a woman and her secret. The school teacher (Francia Raisa) is hiding her past as a bounty hunter when she gets pulled back in. Raisa’s character goes back to her hometown and has to work with her ex-boyfriend to catch a bounty that got away.
“This Christmas” is a family holiday movie with serious issues. A family’s matriarch assembles her family for the first time in four years. The holiday gathering is filled with stress and drama as strains show within the family. It is a real look at what happens when some families with secrets come together and confrontations happen.
“Holiday In Handcuffs”
This one is so wild it is worth a watch. Melissa Joan Hart plays a woman who is desperate to show her family that she is finally in love. How? Well, she kidnaps a man played by Mario Lopez and takes him to her family’s house for Christmas. We are talking felony kidnapping but it’s all cool because, as you would expect at Christmas, they fall in love.
Hulu’s original movie “Happiest Season” is a lesbian Christmas love song that will melt your heart. Kristen Stewart plays a woman suckered into going to her girlfriend’s parents’ home for Christmas. But the catch is that her girlfriend isn’t out. Aubrey Plaza plays a woman jilted by Stewart’s girlfriend and helps the young woman navigate her way through this family.
“A Very Harold & Kumar Christmas”
Pulse pounding and hilarious. “A Very Harold & Kumar Christmas” is exactly what you would expect from the franchise. Danny Trejo plays Harold’s father-in-law who wants a perfect Christmas, something Harold is determined to make happen. When Kumar gets involved, things go sideways fast and the two friends are left figuring out how to save the holiday.
“Nothing Like The Holidays”
A Puerto Rican family gathers for what might be their last Christmas together. The family tries to make the most of the time together and, as you would expect, lessons are learned and familial bonds are made stronger. There is something so powerful about gathering during the holidays.